On 27 November 2018, Ukraine filed its responses to Russia’s jurisdictional objections in the ongoing arbitration proceedings between the two States under the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (“UNCLOS”). Ukraine’s responses establish that — despite Russia’s attempts to avoid scrutiny of its actions in the Black Sea, Sea of Azov, and Kerch Strait — the UNCLOS tribunal has full authority to hear Ukraine’s case.
The underlying dispute between Ukraine and Russia relates to Russia’s unlawful exclusion of Ukraine from exercising its maritime rights; Russia’s unlawful exploitation of Ukraine’s sovereign resources for its own ends; and Russia’s unlawful usurpation of Ukraine’s right to regulate its own maritime areas. Through these violations of UNCLOS, Russia is stealing Ukraine’s energy and fisheries resources, harming the livelihoods of Ukrainian fishermen, and blocking traffic to Ukrainian ports with its illegal bridge over the Kerch Strait, among other serious violations.
Ukraine does not believe that the Russian Federation’s jurisdictional objections are valid or that they will be accepted by the Tribunal.
Ukraine expects that Russia must and will be held accountable for its serious breaches of the international law of the sea.